In software engineering, what are the upper limits of Language-Based Security? 2020-12-27T05:50:46.772Z
The Fermi Paradox has not been dissolved - James Fodor 2020-12-12T23:18:32.081Z
Propinquity Cities So Far 2020-11-16T23:12:52.065Z
Shouldn't there be a Chinese translation of Human Compatible? 2020-10-09T08:47:55.760Z
Should some variant of longtermism identify as a religion? 2020-09-11T05:02:43.740Z
Design thoughts for building a better kind of social space with many webs of trust 2020-09-06T02:08:54.766Z
Investment is a useful societal mechanism for getting new things made. Stock trading shares some functionality with investment, but seems very very inefficient, at that? 2020-08-24T01:18:19.808Z
misc raw responses to a tract of Critical Rationalism 2020-08-14T11:53:10.634Z
A speculative incentive design: self-determined price commitments as a way of averting monopoly 2020-04-28T07:44:52.440Z
MakoYass's Shortform 2020-04-19T00:12:46.448Z
Being right isn't enough. Confidence is very important. 2020-04-07T01:10:52.517Z
Thoughts about Dr Stone and Mythology 2020-02-25T01:51:29.519Z
When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? 2019-12-15T01:02:40.952Z
What do the Charter Cities Institute likely mean when they refer to long term problems with the use of eminent domain? 2019-12-08T00:53:44.933Z
Mako's Notes from Skeptoid's 13 Hour 13th Birthday Stream 2019-10-06T09:43:32.464Z
The Transparent Society: A radical transformation that we should probably undergo 2019-09-03T02:27:21.498Z
Lana Wachowski is doing a new Matrix movie 2019-08-21T00:47:40.521Z
Prokaryote Multiverse. An argument that potential simulators do not have significantly more complex physics than ours 2019-08-18T04:22:53.879Z
Can we really prevent all warming for less than 10B$ with the mostly side-effect free geoengineering technique of Marine Cloud Brightening? 2019-08-05T00:12:14.630Z
Will autonomous cars be more economical/efficient as shared urban transit than busses or trains, and by how much? What's some good research on this? 2019-07-31T00:16:59.415Z
If I knew how to make an omohundru optimizer, would I be able to do anything good with that knowledge? 2019-07-12T01:40:48.999Z
In physical eschatology, is Aestivation a sound strategy? 2019-06-17T07:27:31.527Z
Scrying for outcomes where the problem of deepfakes has been solved 2019-04-15T04:45:18.558Z
I found a wild explanation for two big anomalies in metaphysics then became very doubtful of it 2019-04-01T03:19:44.080Z
Is there a.. more exact.. way of scoring a predictor's calibration? 2019-01-16T08:19:15.744Z
The Mirror Chamber: A short story exploring the anthropic measure function and why it can matter 2019-01-11T22:26:29.887Z
The end of public transportation. The future of public transportation. 2018-02-09T21:51:16.080Z
Principia Compat. The potential Importance of Multiverse Theory 2016-02-02T04:22:06.876Z


Comment by makoyass on A Scalable Urban Design and the Single Building City · 2021-01-10T03:34:46.905Z · LW · GW

Regarding artificial sunlight: a technology that imitates it shockingly well in many ways, giving a sense of a window to a light source with infinite distance:

Comment by makoyass on In software engineering, what are the upper limits of Language-Based Security? · 2020-12-28T05:16:35.581Z · LW · GW

but you sound exactly like the kind of person we want to attend

What, but I'm just a stray dog who makes video games about -... [remembers that I am making a game that centers around an esolang. Turns and looks at my BSc in formal languages and computability. Remembers all of the times a layperson has asked whether I know how to do Hacking and I answered "I'm not really interested in learning how to break things. I'm more interested in developing paradigms where things cannot be broken"]... oh.

uh. maybe.

Comment by makoyass on In software engineering, what are the upper limits of Language-Based Security? · 2020-12-27T23:19:17.486Z · LW · GW

(If you think the question is too underspecified to answer, you probably shouldn't try to post an answer in the answers section. There is a comments section.)

(I'll try to work this into the question description)

Are you asking about which kinds of attacks can't be stopped by improving software?

That would be an interesting thing to see discussed, sure.

Or are you asking about the theoretical limits of PL technology?

No, that might be interesting from the perspective of.. what kinds of engineering robustness will exist at the limits of the singularity (this topic is difficult to motivate, but I hope the reader would agree that we should generally try to make forecasts about cosmically large events even when the practical reasons to do it are not obvious. It seems a-priori unlikely that questions of, say, what kinds of political arrangements are possible in a post-organic galaxy sized civilization wont turn out to be important in some way, even if we can't immediately see how.)

But I'm mainly wondering from a practical perspective. Programming languages are generally tools of craft, they are for getting things done in reality, even many of the most theoretical languages aspire to that. I'm asking mainly from a perspective of...

Can we get the engineers of this imperiled civilization to take their responsibilities more seriously, generally? When it's helpful to be able to prove that something will work reliably before we put it into production, can we make that easy to do? Can any of the tooling design principles from that be generalized to the AGI alignment problem?

With regards to Coq, will those languages actually be used in reality, why or why not, should promote them, should we should fund their development?

I'm interested in different timescales

  • the most security-promoting development processes that are currently in wide use.
  • the most security-promoting development processes that are possible with recently developed technology.
  • processes that could be developed now.
  • processes that could come to exist 10 years away; processes that might exist 30-50 years from now.
  • perhaps some impossibility theorems that may bind even the creatures of the singularity.
Comment by makoyass on It turns out that group meetings are mostly a terrible way to make decisions · 2020-12-23T06:50:12.614Z · LW · GW

Yeah, this is actually one of the key takeaways of the arpa parc paper, leadership's role isn't so much to control or to make very many decisions, their job is to keep everyone lined up with a shared vision so that their actions and decisions fit together. Alignment is the thing that makes organizations run well, it's very important.

Comment by makoyass on The Fermi Paradox has not been dissolved - James Fodor · 2020-12-16T21:50:46.214Z · LW · GW

abiogenesis being so early on Earth is 100% survivorship bias

Being early on earth was not necessary for survival. Similarly, being early for the formation of stars of suitable temperatures also wasn't especially favored by anthropics. Neither of those things had to happen.

Comment by makoyass on Design thoughts for building a better kind of social space with many webs of trust · 2020-12-06T00:25:35.939Z · LW · GW

^_^,.. I might have to curb your excitement a bit and mention that the reason I know about trustnet is that I've known cblgh for years, and that I wrote most of this before reading any of his writing.

And we still haven't really gotten around to reconciling our design thoughts. I think most of this post would be boring to him. Hmm. To do that I'll have to write a bit about

  • how it is feasible for chat and forums to converge
    • More illustrations of UIs for doing that.
  • the dire civilizational need for a wot-moderated forum
  • Maybe I should talk to my friend Demi about designing it all to be humane, first, instead of just having potentially humane underlying systems, because I've been totally neglecting that dimension of it and it's their specialty. This would probably aid the motivation problems I've been having. Right now it feels difficult to envision a humane content discovery system.
Comment by makoyass on MikkW's Shortform · 2020-11-24T23:56:14.326Z · LW · GW

eschew contextualizing because it ruins the commons

I don't understand. What do you mean by contextualizing?

Comment by makoyass on Alex Ray's Shortform · 2020-11-24T23:31:53.820Z · LW · GW

Did Bostrom ever call it singleton risk? My understanding is that it's not clear that a singleton is more of an x-risk than its negative; a liberal multipolar situation under which many kinds of defecting/carcony factions can continuously arise.

Comment by makoyass on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-11-24T23:28:28.551Z · LW · GW

For a while, we've been exploring a similar question but more in the direction of pre-committing to giving simulants better lives, rather than just not bringing them into existence:

Trivially, if we prevent simulatees from using anthropic reasoning, or any method of self-location, then the only thing you'll need to do to ensure your status as a nonsimulatee is to just self-locate every once in a while.

Doesn't that protocol just allow some people to prove they're not simulants, while doing little to aleiveate the real anguishes of being one; growing up in an immature low-tech society (with aging, disease and fear) and then dying before spreading out into the stars?

Comment by makoyass on Rafael Harth's Shortform · 2020-11-24T23:11:23.910Z · LW · GW

I hope you are trying to understand the causes of the success (including luck) instead of just mindlessly following a reward signal. Not even rats mindlessly obey reward signals.

Comment by makoyass on Toon Alfrink's sketchpad · 2020-11-24T21:07:20.900Z · LW · GW

Why aren't presidential races already essentially ITT Tournaments? It would seem like that skill would make you really good at drawing support from lots of different demographics.

Comment by makoyass on MakoYass's Shortform · 2020-11-24T21:02:05.199Z · LW · GW

Idea: Screen burn correction app that figures out how to exactly negate your screen's issues by pretty much looking at itself in a mirror through the selfie cam, trying to display pure white, remembering the imperfections it sees, then tinting everything with the negation of that from then on.

Nobody seems to have made this yet. I think there might be things for tinting your screen in general, but it doesn't know the specific quirks of your screenburn. Most of the apps for screen burn recommend that you just burn every color over the entire screen that isn't damaged yet, so that they all get to be equally damaged, which seems like a really bad thing to be recommending.

Comment by makoyass on Working in Virtual Reality: A Review · 2020-11-21T23:21:00.833Z · LW · GW

I've been meaning to do a post about the near future of VR because I feel like a lot of people don't believe how good it will be, and how soon. But I guess maybe it doesn't need a post of its own. It can be boiled down to:

  • Reaching maximum levels of visual acuity is very achievable via foveated rendering: the optimization of only rendering the patch of the scene that the user is actually looking at in full detail.
  • No mouse will be needed. That prospect, foveated rendering, incents providing eye tracking. External peripherals that aren't right next to your eye can already provide a faster kind of hands-free mouse, accurate enough for most legitimate demands. For others tasks, perhaps some form of hand tracking could make up the difference.
  • Field of view (Angle. Amount of peripheral vision) has already been maxed out by pimax.
  • Further ahead, there just wont be much of a difference in the optical properties of VR and reality if the focal length of the screen can be made dynamically adjustable to resolve vergence conflict.
Comment by makoyass on Working in Virtual Reality: A Review · 2020-11-21T22:55:35.754Z · LW · GW

It's concerning how accurate facebook's face tracking seems to be vs how unrealistic it feels. They're doing the best they can. They're doing a really good job. I can't explicitly point out any flaws. It still doesn't feel right at all :(((

Still probably a big step up from not being able to see people at all though.

Comment by makoyass on Working in Virtual Reality: A Review · 2020-11-21T22:53:36.238Z · LW · GW

As long as most of what you're looking at is at the VR's natural focal point (resolving vergence conflict) and the pixel density is high enough.. maybe it will be fine.

It's possible that something bad happens if you don't refocus your lenses very often, and it seems likely to me that it may be a long long time before VR that can present multiple focal lengths starts getting cheap. There might not be a lot of enthusiastic demand for it. Maybe there will be though. Gamers will demand every achievable kind of realism, even this weird silly stuff like realistic depth of field simulation. Once that happens I can't imagine what differences to reality would be left for the eye to complain about.

Comment by makoyass on Working in Virtual Reality: A Review · 2020-11-21T22:47:40.249Z · LW · GW

I expect it humorlessly. In a lot of ways, computer screens can't be improved upon that much:

  • The third dimension is unlikely to turn out to be useful when most of the work we do is already neglecting to use the color dimensions. Hopefully it'll be useful to people who work with 3d objects (3d modellers) though.
  • I'd predict operating systems that at least start presenting larger computer screens, but even that has practical limits. Once it's wide enough, it would require you to physically turn your head to be able to see things. Right now you can just hit a switch workspace or show overview keybinding for that kind of thing, which is faster. Working while looking to the side is not ergonomic, and it would be hard to get the OS to consistently put stuff at the sides that's occasionally worth looking at but not ever worth looking at for long enough to get uncomfortable.
    Caveat: Turning your body to look around at different stuff would probably be healthy, and intuitive, so we might hope for some hip new VR-optimized standing desks with keyboards that can be yawed around to different angles. Optimally, keyboards would be mounted on a fairly long robot arm that lets you just move and position it in 3d space anywhere in a room.
    Still seems kinda gimicky on net but who knows, might be nice.
Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-20T21:27:31.108Z · LW · GW

It pretty much was but I can see why it would read that way. Changed to "but where very low-cost outcomes might be possible:"

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-20T21:12:51.014Z · LW · GW

Maybe some sort of generally applicable habits and practices could develop, but maybe not.  It seems unlikely that generally applicable habits would be as efficient as habits and practices that have had time to get optimized through use.

The word "Antifragile" springs annoyingly to mind. Constant weak shocks with lots of survivors. Maybe congestion prediction systems will tend to emerge? (Maybe those responses could be incorporated back into the utility function!?)

Also, lots of people moving at the same time once a month is not a great way to utilize moving companies. But if they don't move at the same far from optimal can it get because of moving delays?

Good thoughts. I think I can see a resolution. Moves could planned to take place throughout the month after the solution is proposed.

It occurs to me now that the optimizers are going to be a bit more complex than I'd imagined. They can't just produce a mapping from residents to locations. Moves have to be ordered. The chains have to start at an unoccupied location and end before the month is out.

Move plans could take the capacity of the moving contracters into account, if those are known quantities.

Bill of Rights

Yeah. While this project is making me realize that going without firm guarantees is sometimes really useful (saying, "I don't know how good it will be" enables it to become unexpectedly good. Giving it broad latitude lets it compromise on things that turn out to be more costly than was anticipated.), and I think the optimizer might end up being pretty reliable, I think there will need to be quite a few firm guarantees.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-20T01:19:47.580Z · LW · GW

Then just increase the number in the utility function that I mentioned represents the utility of living in the same place for periods longer than a month.
Are you asking about periods longer than that? I guess there's no reason the system couldn't look even further back. A move penalty that changes the longer they've been in that position.

I've considered that, yeah, public incremental improvement processes wouldn't work for everyone. Likely it would have to go away after the initial stages.
I'd originally planned for a process where the preference expression data would never leave city hardware, where solvers would instead send their optimization programs into city hardware, which would pass the data to the program, run for an hour or whatever, pass out the resultant solution, then reset.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-20T00:50:58.979Z · LW · GW

2. This turns out to be interesting I think. I do think almost everything in the city is obviously overpriced, but it becomes devilishly hard to identify it as overpriced because it has incorporated its high prices into its defining functionality.

Luxury clothes stores say "it's a good thing that we charge six or seven times the cost of production because it makes us a positional good", cafes say "It's a good thing we charge so much because it keeps people from loitering", nightclubs say "it keeps out the riff-raff".

There's a sense in which, the thing that they are is "supposed to be that way", they truly couldn't be better priced and so it's hard to call them overpriced. We end up with services like that because that's all that survives.

A solution here wouldn't look like cheaper versions of these things, because those things wouldn't work if they were cheaper. A really livable megacity would mostly have different things instead of them, things that only start to become economical at the lower price ranges. Instead of assorting by class, social clubs would select on more targeted personal characteristics. Instead of luxury there would be genuine finery included under the craft designation, to an extent that couldn't have been funded before. Instead of cafes there would be mostly unstaffed bookable spaces where you could meet people, that are quiet enough to have conversations in, because lingering is the point of them. They all earn little money but increase the total value of the city far beyond their opportunity cost.


Related observation: Nothing can be said to be overpriced if you submit deeply to the necessity of the overhead. Gold-plated audio cables can't be called overpriced if you believe that you need them to be gold-plated. They're only overpriced if you can accept the possibility of having audio cables that don't need to be gold-plated. So, a lot of people will say things like, "bitcoin's proof of work mechanisms aren't wasteful because they're necessary to making bitcoin work", whether you accept that depends on whether you think there's an alternative to proof of work (many projects do).
And some people who weren't in the mood to entertain the possibility of an alternative to rent would say this about rent, that it's not overhead because it's an irreplaceable part of the mechanism.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-18T03:01:58.916Z · LW · GW

This book sounds very relevant, thanks for the recommendation.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-18T02:47:18.711Z · LW · GW

Yes. It will be a long project. It will have to start as something different from the thing it will become.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-18T02:38:13.844Z · LW · GW

I think people underestimate the value of sunlight. They sell their access to sunlight then they get mood disorders and wonder what's causing it. But yeah, I'm not sure. Vitamin D can be supplemented. Large rooms with high ceilings can exist.

I do believe we will get electric cars, so yeah maybe that's not going to be an issue in the future.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-18T01:52:11.525Z · LW · GW
  1. I have known too many landlords who say, "ah, but, I have a responsibility to my tenants to maintain their house and provide improvements, which I fulfill, so I deserve the money", while failing to maintain the house and while forbidding the tenants from doing it themselves. You'll forgive me if I'm a bit skeptical about this framing. I'm not sure it should be the market's job to improve the value of the property. Where I'm from, the market habitually failed to install adequate insulation, this ended up needing to be legislated on.

    The person who most has an incentive to maintain the property is the person who lives in it. They may be less competent at this, but the land-owners aren't always competent either. Removing barriers to their doing this might be helpful.

    Ah. Apparently I removed the section about maintaining detailed, easily queriable information about every apartment (the system that maintains the data that the "requirements about the housing" field in preference expressions is about). I think that might have been the answer to your question of how inspections would be done. I removed it because I thought it was boring, but I suppose it might have been important.

    So I'll propose a process. Residents would be expected to report on a long list of qualities of their house before moving out (or to pay to have someone else do it). They ought to mostly know these qualities as a result of having lived there. If the resident who then moves into that location disputes their reports (the system asks them whether it's all okay), they have the choice between receiving a fine, or having an inspector come, and if the inspector confirms the disputation, a greater fine. Qualities being tracked are likely to include things like "generally clean", "mold-free", or "no terrible smell" (I suppose that one will have to be a bit subjective and the process might need to be complicated a bit. Lol what if residents got a quality like "haunted" or "bad vibes" added to the checklist. I don't want to think about that right now.).
    If there has been a great degradation in quality over the course of the resident's stay, they will be fined.
  2. I agree that if store adjacency preference expressions were implemented in the most obvious way it might end up kinda sucking in a lot of ways. Leading to services having to spend some small but not insignificant fraction of what they previously spent on rent on advertising and campaigning.

    I would want to design additional systems for streamlining this. The decisions of these systems should, in a sense, answer to residents, they should predict resident preferences, in the same way that our low-cost auction designs would predict the outcomes of a regular auction without requiring it to be carried out.
    Individual residents should not ever be expected to look through an unfiltered list of service proposals, and judge them without having been exposed to a lot of good information about whether their proposers are credible or likely to be serious.

    There remains a lot of work to be done on this part of the design.

    You somewhat misquoted me. Aside from likening it to local elections, I also mention a qualification system. The qualification concept would be one little step toward completing the design. Residents would not need to say very specific things like "I want this wallgreens proposal to be within one KM of me", but instead, "I want some decent pharmacy". Perhaps we could have prediction markets decide what qualifies as a decent pharmacy (whose bettors are then rewarded or punished based on reports that come later on).
    Alternately, I think I can see a system for maintaining an open set of qualification marks and associated qualification authorities. Marks would be more or less prominent depending on whether they are promoted by services who have those marks that are genuinely found to be beloved. The mark authority would be paid a reasonable wage, proportional to their adoption (so that they can hire more when they need to), but nothing crazy, most of what they do would be simply honestly reporting quality/price quotients and product categories. They get work in proportion to whether their mark is found to be actually meaningful. Their work is fulfilling and the mark promotion system would try to make sure that corruption would be met quickly with replacement.
    More development is probably needed. Hmm and I feel like a simpler process may be possible in most cases.
    Conceivably... the customers of a service are generally capable of providing information about whether the service made the mark (oh), so something much cheaper than that might be possible. Imagine a review site that isn't kind of a joke.

    I suppose the information systems like this would be one of the many dimensions of quality over which propinquity cities would vary. Some would have better, more meritocratic ways of gathering and pooling information and maintaining designations and score gradients. Hopefully the first one does a decent enough job.

    > I believe the amount that people actually spend at a store is a better measure of the value they derive from it than their voting could be

    If you use that as your optimization metric, as our cities currently do, you get overpriced services. The drawbacks of that as a mechanism are incredibly obvious, significant in size, but broadly overlooked as inevitable. I again invite you to question their inevitability and look for a mechanism that will produce better quality/price quotients than that.

    I don't think I emphasize this clearly enough or often enough: A system that forces stores to increase their prices, decreases their quality. Those features are on the same continuum.

    There isn't very much about burning money as a way of signalling desire that that could be said to be efficient.
Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-17T05:50:25.444Z · LW · GW

You might have to explain your position a bit more.

Lower rent is what I'm hearing, which you can already relocate to if you have the luxury of remote work

If I gather what you're trying to say (I'm not sure I do) I touch on that in the longtermist significance section. If you're happy to move away and live outside of a dense city, you might not need proq very much, as rent/mortgages far away from the city center can potentially maybe in some circumstances compete down to a tiny proportion of mean income. If you care about mean QoL in city centers, though, there may be no alternative to proq, as rent cannot ever compete down to a tiny proportion of mean income in city centers due to the abundance of demand.

Do you care about mean QoL in the city centers?

How does paying lost bids disincentivize overbidding?

I like that one the least. The other two are more promising aren't they?
But the rationale is that it would incent people to hesitate and consider and negotiate with the other buyers a lot more before bidding, and that bids would generally decrease to account for unpredictable expected losses (causing them to decrease further in response to decreased expected competition?). Whether you should bid would depend a lot more on whether and how much others are going to bid, everyone would be induced to develop a clearer sense of that crucial information, and then in the end the item still gets allocated to someone.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-17T03:51:58.812Z · LW · GW

An aside, the story you link doesn't seem like a good example of anything. SF's housing shortage was never going to be solved by building weirdly luxurious, two story dwellings in the middle of courtyard gardens of three story dwellings. That's not a class of building we should really care about. That you're pointing at this weird marginal kind of incident makes me wonder things.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-17T03:21:49.003Z · LW · GW

To clarify, the city wouldn't generally build anything shorter than 5 stories. The project has no interest in building anything in the category of SF's suburbs.

Additionally, I was asking a question there. I don't know much about the history of construction and cities. I was wondering whether unregulated land markets reliably overproduce density once an urban center has been established. Are cities with extreme density actually decent to live in? Doesn't ventilation (pollution) or access to sunlight start to become a problem over a certain size?  Isn't there going to be an appropriate limit that absolute deregulation will always exceed?

What happens when there are no restrictions at all on density/height? Can you refer me to some historical examples of that?

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-17T01:46:48.215Z · LW · GW

I think people will accept, for instance, that a person who pays more in shares should be allowed a bigger, nicer apartment, because those shares paid for the creation of that apartment, and because people can't see how the creation of that apartment takes anything away from them (the density decreases of allowing larger apartments actually do mildly harm the city at large, density is a public good, but this is mild and easy to miss). If, however, you make it so that people with more share are more able to push and pull the rest of the city around them, I think that will make the political challenges of launching prohibitively difficult, at least for the first city. It will be hard for ordinary people to look forward to being a small fish in that sort of system. The simulated demos would have to be pretty damn good to convince them.

In most of the variants of this I can imagine easily, this would also risk re-enabling those costly economic wars that proq was designed to limit, that harm everyone subject to them. A loudness war of wills. One person might like to be able to exert more control over their neighborhood by buying extra shares, but allowing that would mean their competitors (who want their favored stores or favored people in their part of the city instead, or who want to fill the part of the city that they share with other sorts of things) could do that too, which would mean that to get what they want they would have to buy even more shares in an escalation that could cost them a lot of their wealth. It might not turn out to be desirable for anyone, that this sort of escalation be allowed.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-17T01:10:15.868Z · LW · GW

I do wish I had more insight into the needs of services, restaurants and stores and that kind of thing. Getting a location in a proq city would be a lot more like getting a qualification or winning a local election than the usual leasing of a storefront. It would help a lot if the project knew how to introduce itself to competent merchants. The city would not die without them, but it would have difficulty becoming wonderful.

Additionally, it would be good to know a bit about job creators. I wonder how far we could get by focusing on residents with remote work, though, maybe it could work without any physical offices, but having some on board would only be helpful.

Comment by makoyass on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-17T00:47:52.960Z · LW · GW

No, I don't think it's particularly likely that this kills the idea.

those who do less well than under the traditional cities

I think the social scenes that emerge here would be rich enough that even the very rich would be interested in buying a share. I think for most of the VCs you'd want around... the difference between the average apartment in a proq city and whatever they live in normally wouldn't really be great enough to matter to them, if it is though, I'm wondering if larger or more luxurious shares should be available ("penthouse shares"?) if the standard variations are insufficient in some way.
I could imagine this devolving/evolving into basically everyone just paying the full amount to buy into what're essentially stacks of family-sized homes. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

Note that high rents make hiring more expensive for employers. They don't particularly like them either. I don't know what great thing you imagine traditional cities have that would counterbalance that.

That last part, are you saying you anticipate that the transitivity of expressed adjacency preferences wouldn't select for a more agreeable neighborhood than the current system would? When the current system pretty much consists of sorting by class then randomizing a bit? That's weird man. I don't get the impression you really thought on this.

Comment by makoyass on Dutch-Booking CDT: Revised Argument · 2020-11-01T22:19:15.695Z · LW · GW

I had no idea there was a broader definition.

Comment by makoyass on Has Eliezer ever retracted his statements about weight loss? · 2020-11-01T02:14:46.445Z · LW · GW

I'm gonna downvote the post cause that first quote is fake (I could only source it to an /r/fatlogic post (damn this subreddit is crazy. What happened to these people)), which was having a hatewank over 

There are processes outside of the fat cells that can cause them to not release the fat in response to hunger or exercise. Hormones or an absence of hormones or whatever, I don't know as I've never had to think about my metabolic system because I am metabolically priveleged.
You can't take from this comment that he believed there was a difference within the cells. He might have, but you shouldn't paraphrase quotations like that.

Comment by makoyass on Objective Dog Ratings: The Shiba Inu · 2020-10-22T23:09:47.338Z · LW · GW

I greatly respect the Shiba as it is clearly possesses a will of its own.

It is one of the most agenty dogs.

​For example, some Shiba Inus will emit a light Shiba scream simply if you give them the softest of "pinches" or pull on their collar in a way they don't like. 

Most dogs just wont tell you when you're doing something they don't like very much, like this. It's much better when our friends are honest about what they want, especially our animal friends, whose minds are the hardest for us to read.

Comment by makoyass on The Parable of Predict-O-Matic · 2020-10-22T22:04:10.638Z · LW · GW

Update: I find that I'm still using "construction".

I note that it would agree will with the word "construct". Most social constructs are things that are true because we believe in them, subjunctively sustained. There's a bit of a negative vibe on "construct", but it's so neurotic there's no way it can survive and mostly it's just trying to say "we can change it! It's our choice!" which is true.

Comment by makoyass on What are some beautiful, rationalist artworks? · 2020-10-20T08:56:34.642Z · LW · GW

It doesn't look like a permanent curtailment if humans are still living and the artifacts of the magic of old are still there to inspire them.

Comment by makoyass on What are some beautiful, rationalist artworks? · 2020-10-19T22:52:27.480Z · LW · GW

This would be much stronger if there weren't a surviving human figure (who can somehow afford to feed a horse, no less!) in the scene. I'm not sure this is what extinction risk looks like at all

Comment by makoyass on Industrial literacy · 2020-10-14T06:18:00.895Z · LW · GW

It's about degrees of understanding, of course, but it should be mentioned that our lives will always be greatly enriched by the bizarre fact that we can use technologies we have no understanding of, and there is no such test. No one knows how a pencil is made. We float every day over an inscrutable river of magic maintained by a people we've never met.

I sometimes wonder if this is the reason advanced ancient technology is such a popular theme in contemporary fantasy media. All of the technology we interact with might as well be a product of some lost civilization, because we know that we will never meet most of the people who know how to make it all, if it breaks we can't fix it, and we know that their tradition is separate from ours and traced back centuries into the history of science and technology that we might never learn. If we did meet them, we know that we wouldn't have time to learn the whole craft from them. They are, in a sense, necessarily absent from our lives. We only see their artifacts.

Somehow, their artifacts keep working and abounding without them and that miracle is hard to get used to, so maybe we write stories about it, frame it in the most basally digestible anthropic terms, to help us to process it.

Comment by makoyass on Shouldn't there be a Chinese translation of Human Compatible? · 2020-10-12T22:37:49.948Z · LW · GW

If so, I think he's wrong here. The book may lead them to realize that unaligned AGI doesn't actually constitute an improvement in capabilities. It's the creation of a new enemy. A bridge that might fall down is not a useful bridge and a successful military power, informed of that, wouldn't want to build it.

It's in no party's interests to create AGI that isn't aligned with at least the people overseeing the research project.

An AGI aligned with a few living humans is generally going to lead to better outcomes than an AGI aligned with nobody at all, there is enough shared, to know that, and no one coherently extrapolated is as crass or parochial as the people we are now. Alignment theory should be promoted with every party.

Comment by makoyass on Design thoughts for building a better kind of social space with many webs of trust · 2020-10-02T23:32:48.806Z · LW · GW

Incentive problem: Separating one's output into neat categories is not always in a one's interests, and I may be naive to expect people to want to do it. The prospect of capitalizing on the audience you've built up by being on-brand by befouling your posts with unrelated political content/self-promotion is probably most of the point of using social media for most people.

I suppose in this case, it might be necessary to move away from promoting ideal social configurations then waiting for people to purely altruistically embody them, cause they wont, and focus more on promoting evolution over materially viable configurations. But of course if you foster a culture of relying on blind iteration you will end up stuck in a molochean equilibrium so there's going to need to be a balance.

Comment by makoyass on The rationalist community's location problem · 2020-09-24T22:16:07.793Z · LW · GW

it's almost certainly still better to live here than in a town where people fly Confederate flags and openly carry guns

I do not really like lenient gun laws, but I haven't gotten the impression that it's especially unsafe to live in those places? Also not sure free-thinkers in general mind being around their outgroup all that much.



If you're forming a largish intentional community, running schooling ourselves would be a lot easier than it normally is, we can pool resources, have different people teach different subjects. Again, I wouldn't be surprised if there were a consensus among parents willing to move for community that we do not need state schools.

Comment by makoyass on Design thoughts for building a better kind of social space with many webs of trust · 2020-09-24T05:58:17.941Z · LW · GW

1: A continuous process of presences on each side endorsing their own side and unendorsing presences of the other side when they notice them posting incorrect things. An automated process may notice the split in the endorsement relations, and recommend naming uh, subtags (now starting to really doubt that calling them 'tags' instead of 'sets' was a good idea); tags with more specific meanings.

2: Maybe marginal yeah, someone else will have to apply the more specific indian food tag if they don't want to do it, which shouldn't end up being very much work. In exchange they get to take credit for the tagging and gain influence over the indian food genre.

Comment by makoyass on What happens if you drink acetone? · 2020-09-17T00:17:34.686Z · LW · GW

It's a relief to see that someone is finally speaking the truth about Acetone.

Comment by makoyass on MakoYass's Shortform · 2020-09-15T20:49:38.176Z · LW · GW

I've never been mad at elon for not having decision theoretic alignmentism. I wonder, should I be mad. Should I be mad about the fact that he has never talked to eliezer (eliezer said that in passing a year or two ago on twitter) even though he totally could whenever he wanted.

Also, what happened at OpenAI? He appointed some people to solve the alignment problem, I think we can infer that they told him, "you've misunderstood something and the approach you're advocating (proliferate the technology?) wouldn't really be all that helpful", and he responded badly to that? They did not reach mutual understanding?

Comment by makoyass on Should some variant of longtermism identify as a religion? · 2020-09-13T10:31:27.287Z · LW · GW

Many don't.

I should add, most of the longtermist projects I could imagine initiating in NZ would help people in the present, but I'm not sure how how much of that is a result of me limiting my hopes to fit through the overton window. I should think more about that.

Comment by makoyass on What's Wrong with Social Science and How to Fix It: Reflections After Reading 2578 Papers · 2020-09-13T03:01:05.852Z · LW · GW

some method of incentivizing novelty / importance

Lesswrong upvote count.

Slightly more seriously: Propagation through the academic segments of centerless curation networks. The author might be anticipating continued advances in social media technology, conventions of use, and uptake. Uptake and improvements in conventions of use, at least, seem to be visibly occuring. Advances in technology seem less assured, but I will do what I can.

Comment by makoyass on Should some variant of longtermism identify as a religion? · 2020-09-12T03:29:33.833Z · LW · GW

Setting aside disagreements about what aspects of religions makes it practical to distinguishing them from other kinds of organizations, or about whether longtermism is on a trajectory to develop those

that's between you and the tax man. 

And no one else? It seems likely that this conversation with the tax man will need to involve other people, via a requirement that the variant publicly identifying as a religion somewhere, or via at least one published text that analyses the group as a religion (which I'd probably have to write).

Although skimming NZ's laws, it does seem as if the texts we have might already be enough! (for reasons I will prefer not to publicly expound until a decision has been made.)

Comment by makoyass on Should some variant of longtermism identify as a religion? · 2020-09-12T02:29:49.933Z · LW · GW

if long-termism were to embrace ritual, community, and other activities of religion, would long-termism benefit?

While that is worth asking, it's not the brunt of the question I'm wrestling with. I agree we should do more of that, I think that falls under the consequences of simply taking adequately seriously a system of claims that touch on many aspects of life, which doesn't necessarily need to be described as religious.

The question is, should we call it a religion now, or soon after a thorough account of its religion-like qualities is written, or should we only start calling it a religion if it is forced.

Physical community

I'm not sure how identifying as a religion would help, in that respect. I think it would make it harder to grow, at least in the current atmosphere, than just sticking with EA. I don't think it would make it easier to acquire physical churchehouses/community centers, but I should probably look into that more. Maybe talk to my Quaker friends.

Comment by makoyass on Design thoughts for building a better kind of social space with many webs of trust · 2020-09-11T04:08:49.087Z · LW · GW

Interested, could you recommend a desktop app made with flutter? Or something about what the rendering engine is made of on linux?

Comment by makoyass on Design thoughts for building a better kind of social space with many webs of trust · 2020-09-11T04:06:16.122Z · LW · GW

To clarify, stoners would misuse the tree tag, people looking for actual tree content wouldn't see any of that because they would not be using the stoner web to sort results.

Comment by makoyass on Design thoughts for building a better kind of social space with many webs of trust · 2020-09-11T04:02:35.775Z · LW · GW

Have you played The Witness? I've put your name on the beta list for crycog. I am looking for puzzle designers, but I should probably try bugging the friends I've already conscribed a few times before giving up on them. I have so far not tried bugging or in any way cajoling or hyping them so I should just see if it works at some point.

I'm wondering if there's much point in showing other people that game right now though. I'm not sure anyone believes there's going to be depth here but me and so there is no guarantee they'll be able to find it. This seems to be the case for most successful games. I hear the concept of something new and interesting and like, there will usually not be an intuition that says "ah yes I can see why that would work".

My intuition hates The Mind, for instance. I guess if someone asked me to contribute to a game like that though... maybe I'd say "okay this is for people with fewer tacit communication insights than me, I can do this condescendingly." That said, to be clear, I believe that I am right. I do earnestly believe I wouldn't be able to enjoy The Mind. You'd have to fight me to get me to try it.


The other game I'm developing is a tabletop game where basically... players have utility functions that act on an environment that they coexist in, violence is possible, they have to sort things out in such a way that it maximizes their own utility function. There is an emphasis on negotiation as a theory-heavy skill, as most games allow only one winner, every time the opponent gains you lose, there aren't very many games like this, and that's kind of shocking considering how normal in life this kind of situation is.


What sorts of stuff have you worked on? What sorts of things do you still want to create? (what are your absurd and unlikely design ambitions)